Understanding Probiotics and COVID-19 link: Key points for Indian Practitioners
While the recommendations regarding the strain, dose, and duration of probiotic are yet to be well established; given the large experience of clinical usage, and evidence for beneficial effects in various clinical settings, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium can safely be used 1
Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS nCoV-2), causing Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains a continuously progressing pandemic with 25,118,689 (about 2.5 crores) cases and 844,312 (about 8.5 lakhs) deaths all over the world with a mortality rate of 3.4% as estimated by the WHO database at the end of August 2020 1 . The major reasons for massive impact of COVID-19 seem to be lack of preparedness for such unprecedented transmission, intrinsic virulence of the pathogen and its contagiousness, asymptomatic spreaders, unavailability of a vaccine, and lack of effective antiviral agents 2 . In the light of emerging pathophysiological targets in COVID-19, the consideration of probiotics seems justified and clinical evidence in this direction is evolving rapidly.